The Home Front: A Colorado law to require all cops be U.S. citizens, another would cut taxes on tampons

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports on a proposed new law in Colorado that would require all law enforcement officers be U.S. citizens. “The bill’s chief sponsor, Sen. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs, said his measure, SB120, isn’t intended to be a statement about illegal immigration, but one to show the importance of loyalty to a nation whose laws they mean to enforce,” the paper reported. “The power to arrest, the power to stop and frisk, the power to execute warrants, and yes, the power to use deadly force in the execution of one’s duties,” Gardner said, according to the paper. “One ought to be a citizen of our country. There is no status greater than that of a United States citizen.” Opponents of the measure, “all Democrats,” the paper reports, “said while the issue may not be aimed at illegal immigrants, the bill sends a negative message to those people who are in the nation, legally or not.”

The Denver Post digs into a tampon tax cut proposal. “Each time a woman buys a tampon or pad in Colorado, she pays sales tax,” the paper reports. “It’s just a cost of being female. That’s not fair, says a state lawmaker who introduced legislation to exempt these and similar feminine hygiene products from state sales taxes. The proposal in the Colorado legislature, House Bill 1127, follows the lead of a handful of other states that have done so in recent years. ‘It doesn’t seem fair to me that we tax something that women have to have, for a bodily function that we cannot control,’ said Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver, who sponsored the bill.”

The Coloradoan in Fort Collins asks “How safe are northern Colorado’s dams?” “After high water levels put California’s Oroville Dam in peril and prompted the evacuation of about 200,000 people this weekend, Northern Colorado residents might be wondering about the safety of nearby dams,” the paper reports. “The good news: All of Larimer County’s biggest dams, including the dams at Horsetooth Reservoir, have emergency action plans designed to prepare authorities for emergencies like what happened in California this weekend. And the bad: A small percentage of Colorado’s higher-hazard dams don’t have emergency plans. Failure could put human lives, environment and property at risk.”

“Weld County commissioners on Monday went into private, executive session to discuss a county employee’s accusations of harassment against Commissioner Sean Conway,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “All five commissioners, county attorney Bruce Barker and a human resources official for the county attended the session about 10 a.m. Monday, at the end of the commissioners’ regular meeting. It’s not clear what was discussed in the executive session, but the session also included a representative from Mountain States Employer Council, which conducted an outside investigation into the harassment allegations. Further, the commissioners’ motion to go into executive session referenced a document prepared by that organization. The Tribune has requested that document, and is awaiting word from the county on whether it will be released.”

The Longmont Times-Call reports home prices have doubled in the post-recession bounce. “The rapidly rising price tags on Longmont homes are certainly no secret,” the paper reports. “Median house prices increased 15.5 percent in the last year alone. But perhaps the best measure of the post-recession recovery is this: The average cost of a single-family home in the city has roughly doubled in less than a decade, from $205,454 in the depths of the recession — November 2008 — to $406,762 last month. That’s a 98 percent increase in just over 8 years, roughly 12 percent appreciation per year. The same gains would take 28 years to achieve at more historic levels of appreciation of 3.4 percent, according to the Case-Shiller index.”

“Loveland resident Larry Sarner has taken his battle over two downtown ballot issues to the Colorado Supreme Court again, filing his third appeal in the span of five months,” The Loveland Reporter-Herald reported. “Sarner contends that the two Loveland Downtown Development Authority questions on last November’s ballot violated the state constitution’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights. Although the tax-increase and bond-indebtedness questions both failed at the polls, Sarner said he’s continuing his fight because the ballot questions raise important issues that could come up again in Loveland and elsewhere in Colorado. Sarner has suffered multiple setbacks in the 8th Judicial District courtroom of Judge Thomas French, who has both dismissed Sarner’s suits and ruled against him — and on Nov. 5, 2016, doing both, saying Sarner lacked standing to bring a complaint and then ruling against his suit.”

The Steamboat Pilot & Today reports on how locals vie for a chance at affordable housing in the area. “By 10:30 a.m., about 80 people were waiting in line to turn in their applications, which were being accepted beginning at 11 a.m. Income information will be verified by a third party, and approved applications accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for 12-month leases. After the complex is rented, other applicants will be placed on an interest list and invited to apply again when openings become available.”

“The Cañon City School District will remove pay from a teacher who was arrested last week after allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a student, an official said Monday,” the Cañon City Daily Record reports. “Superintendent George Welsh said the district plans to place Robert Davidson, 45, on administrative leave without pay, which is one step further from its original action of placing him on leave with pay.”

The Gazette in Colorado Springs reports how authorities are clearing out homeless camps in the city. “It marks the latest chapter in a cyclical saga playing out every few months along the banks of Fountain Creek: Law enforcement officers post notices warning of a pending camp cleanup, the people there move elsewhere, and officers post signs at the new camp warning of another cleanup.”

“A transient who grabbed a jogger and sexually assaulted her along the Boulder Creek Path last year pleaded guilty in Boulder District Court this morning in a deal with prosecutors that calls for at least six decades in prison,” The Boulder Daily Camera reports.